A bottlenose dolphin was recently rescued by quick-thinking locals after live stranding on Mutton Island near Galway city.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) reports the story related to it by friend of the group Jason, who was alerted to the marine mammal in the shallow water near the Galway Bay lighthouse by an Australian couple with whom he had previously been discussing the area’s resident bottlenose Nimmo.
“I just knew it was in trouble so I ran down and the dolphin was out of the water alive,” he said.
With the tide going out, time was of the essence as Jason was joined by three others who offered their scarves to form a brace to lift the dolphin into deeper water.
“I just went the rest of the way as it was getting dark at that point. With one final push it just started to swim away.
“I can’t explain how I felt and we did it as a team. An incredible thank you so so much to those who helped,” he added.
The IWDG said “fresh attention” has been drawn to the issue following the death of a fin whale seen swimming in Dublin Port earlier this month.
More recently, an endangered sei whale was found floating in the River Thames at Gravesend in the UK last Friday (18 October), nearly two weeks after a humpback whale died in the same stretch of water.
IWDG chief executive Dr Simon Berrow said: “Strandings, both live and dead, of large whales are not common in Ireland but do occur and we need a protocol, signed off by relevant partners, including Government agencies, so we can respond quickly and efficiently in such cases without having to phone around looking for resources and support.”